Mike Trout leaves Angels game with tightness in right hamstring.

Mike TroutMike Trout was removed in the fifth inning of the Angels’ game against the Houston Astros on Sunday with tightness in his right hamstring.

Update: “It’s all right. I’m just sore,” Trout told reporters after the game. “It’s not like it popped or anything. It was just a little grabbing, so it shouldn’t be too serious. … I’ll see how it is tomorrow. I came out just because I didn’t want it to get worse. It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t be out there. For me as a speed guy, I’ve got to take care of my legs.”

Trout has reached base safely in 40 consecutive games and is second in the American League in batting average at .333.

Trout was replaced in center field by right fielder Collin Cowgill. Kole Calhoun took over for Cowgill in right.

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Angels’ Mike Trout believes PED users should be banned for life by MLB.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez was suspended 211 games last week by Major League Baseball. (Getty Images)

Mike Trout grounded out in his first at-bat Monday by hitting the ball to New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Who knows who would have fielded the baseball if his preferred penalties for known steroid users were in effect.

Trout told a New York radio station Monday morning that he would support lifetime bans for players who were caught using performance-enhancing drugs.

“To me personally, I think you should be out of the game if you get caught,” Trout told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. “It takes away from the guys that are working hard every day and doing it all natural.”

Last week, Rodriguez was suspended 211 games — the remainder of this season and all of 2014 — on the strength of evidence that he used performance enhancing drugs obtained from the shuttered Biogenesis clinic. Rodriguez appealed his suspension and is allowed to play in the meantime.

Under Trout’s proposal, Rodriguez and 13 other major leaguers would have been out of the game for life.

“Some people are just trying to find that extra edge,” Trout told WFAN. “It’s tough as a guy that goes out there and plays hard every day and puts (out) 110 percent effort every time. And then you wake up the next day and you see there’s a list of guys that are, you know, on the list. It’s good that MLB caught them and they are moving in the right direction with suspensions.”

Trout walked and singled in five plate appearances Monday, extending his streak of games reaching base to 42.

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Albert Pujols won’t have plantar fascia surgery, hopes to return this season.

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols could miss the remainder of the 2013 season after suffering a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot Friday. (Associated Press)

Albert Pujols is counting on faith, his personal injury history, and a nearly pain-free left foot to carry his optimism for the next 6 to 8 weeks, or however long it takes to recover from a partially torn plantar fascia.

Pujols wouldn’t rule out returning to the Angels this season after being told by a team physician that the injury might need 6 to 8 weeks to heal. There are eight weeks and three days left in the regular season.

Pujols had been dealing with plantar fasciitis all season until he suffered the partial tear last Friday in Oakland.

“If it takes two months or three weeks or four weeks, great,” Pujols said. “I’m not going to try to rush anything.”
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Postgame notes: A strange game caps a good series for the Angels.

The Angels’ 10-9 win over the Seattle Mariners was fun for a night. As I pointed out in my game story, they did something that no team had never done, beating Felix Hernandez after falling behind by seven runs.

Because it was such an anomaly it’s hard to extrapolate any long-term, big-picture ideas about what the win means for the Angels. Mike Scioscia tried.

“Hopefully it’ll inspire you the next time you’re down by two, three runs at any time in the game to just keep playing baseball. Hopefully that experience for some of the young guys out there — you just have to experience it, understand it.”
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Angels shift toward a leadoff platoon. Josh Hamilton seems to be the culprit.

Mike Trout has said he enjoys hitting leadoff. It’s what he has done for most of his baseball life and what he did Monday and Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners. But he was batting second again for the Angels on Thursday night.

Peter Bourjos, the leadoff hitter Wednesday, wasn’t batting first either.

Erick Aybar was the first man up Thursday after a 13-game absence from the top of the order, and manager Mike Scioscia said that the top of the order could be a rotating affair beyond tonight.
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Mike Trout at 250 games.

Through 250 games, Mike Trout is rewriting the Angels’ franchise record book.

Among all Angels through their first 250 games with the franchise, Trout is first in hits (297), first in extra-base hits (115), first in runs (200), first in slugging (.537), first in average (.307), first in on-base percentage (.380), tied for second in sacrifice flies (13), third in steals (68), third in home runs (47), fourth in walks (113), tied for fourth in doubles (54), tied for fifth in triples (14), and tied for fifth in RBI (143).

Thanks to Angels PR for those numbers.

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Mike Trout on All-Star Game: ‘If you deserve to be there, you should be there.’

Mike Trout

Mike Trout (right) was chosen an American League All-Star in 2012 despite not making his debut until April 28.

In hindsight, it would seem unjust if Mike Trout wasn’t an All-Star in 2012. In case you forgot: Second in the MVP voting, American League Rookie of the Year, 30 home runs, 49 steals, 129 runs scored, .326/.399/.564 slash line, 10.9 bWAR, yada, yada, yada …

Yet when All-Star game voting opened a year ago, on April 20, 2012, Mike Trout was in Triple-A. His first game of the season was eight days away. Ten days into the balloting, on May 1, Trout was batting .091. By June 1, he had five home runs and the pacesetter, Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Reddick, had 14.

So you wonder if Bruce Bochy would have wanted Trout, if by some strange reason the San Francisco Giants manager was in charge of the American League squad. Bochy explained his theory in a radio interview earlier today when asked about Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers outfielder who is putting up Trout-like numbers (better than that, even) through his first 13 major-league games.
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Mike Trout has several career milestones within reach.

Mike Trout has a few career milestones within reach over the final seven games of the Angels’ homestand. Thanks to the Angels’ public relations staff for their tireless research:

• If he scores today, Trout will have 200 runs in his first 249 games, which will make him the fastest to 200 runs by any player in MLB since 1940 (Ted Williams, 225 games and Barney McCosky, 236 games).

• Of the seven who have been faster since 1916, five are in the Hall of Fame (Joe DiMaggio, Lloyd Waner, Kiki Cuyler, Ted Williams, Chuck Klein).

• If Trout homers today or tomorrow, he’d be the first player ever with 48 home runs and 50 stolen bases in his first 250 games, and the fourth player since 1935 with 14 triples and 48 homers in his first 250 (DiMaggio, Williams, Mays). If he hits three more homers in his next nine games, Trout will be the fastest player ever to reach 50 home runs and 50 stolen bases.

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Daily Distractions: Miguel Cabrera 2, Mike Trout 0.

American League All-Star vote totals were released today. While not unkind to Mike Trout, he was staring up at a familiar face in the balloting.

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was the leading vote-getter with 1,500,165 votes. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is second with 1,235,230 votes and Trout leads all outfielders with 1,190,676.

Cabrera won the Triple Crown and the American League MVP award last year in a hotly contested race that saw Trout place second.

There’s still plenty of time for Trout to win this popularity contest; balloting concludes on July 11.

For the complete balloting results, click here.

Some more Monday bullet points:

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